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Driveway Ornament To Daily Driver A really quite long build thread by Minuit The Beginning: March-November 2012 Why hello there, viewer! If you're reading this for the first time, I think I should probably explain some things first. This build is now entering its fifth sixth year. It started shortly before I turned 16 years old, and I had absolutely no prior mechanical experience, so keep this in mind when reading the first few pages. I can say with absolute certainty that some of the things you see early on in this build were not properly done and should not be used as an example of how to do things! However, I have not edited any of this after posting it other than to remove blatantly wrong information. In the early stages of this build, I am teaching myself how to work on automobiles, and I am doing many of the things you see in the thread for the very first time. This truck was built on April 17, 1991, rolled off the line at Toledo at 12:55 PM, and was purchased new by my grandparents on November 22, 1991 at Underhill Motors in Dickson, TN. In late 2003, its fuel pump failed and the truck was not driven until I took ownership of the truck in 2012. It had not been moved from the spot it was sitting in since it was first parked there in 2003. If you want an exact date, I guess you could say that this build officially began on March 10, 2012 when the fuel pump was first purchased, or April 29, 2012 when the truck was first started and moved under its own power and fuel supply. I take this build very seriously. Every decision I make is carefully thought out. There will be no cutting of fenders, bed bobbing, or 35" tires in this thread. In an attempt to keep at least a fraction of the truck's history intact, I have a few rules that I follow very strictly: 1. No permanent modifications are allowed. The truck must be able to be returned to its completely original form with bolt-on parts only. The only permanent modification (that isn't a repair) to the truck's structure that is allowed is drilling holes that are pre-punched at the factory. Factory options that are added must be done in a way that's indistinguishable from stock to an observer. The specifics might not be stock, but it damn well better look stock. 2. If at all possible, parts should be correct for a 1991 model year truck. Exceptions are allowed if a later model part is clearly superior (for example, 1997+ door limiting straps that prevent damage to the door hinges) If reasonable, the original parts from the truck should be kept. 3. At no time is this truck to be driven off-road without a very, very good reason. I have other vehicles to abuse. 4. Aftermarket customizations are not allowed. Wheels, radios, etc. are to be OEM parts only. If there's a specific goal to this project, it's to create the best, most pure example of a street driven Jeep Comanche I possibly can. Even almost 5 years after starting, that goalpost is a very long way away. Thanks very much for reading, and I hope you enjoy watching this truck's transformation from an algae covered, forgottten driveway ornament to being my dependable daily driver. - Minuit 15 year old me didn't have very good photography skills. This is where this whole adventure began. April 29, 2012 It moved under its own power for the first time in 9 years an hour before this pic was taken. After replacing the fuel pump, the truck started immediately without smoke or hesitation. At this point it had a deep knocking sound coming from the rear of the engine. Although a number of mechanics identified it as a rod knock, it was coming from loose torque converter bolts! Tip: If you are experiencing a loud knocking sound and have an automatic transmission, check first for loose torque converter bolts and/or a cracked flexplate. Tip: A common theme in this thread will be this: Always verify the source of the problem yourself. Eliminate easy solutions first before jumping to the worst possible situation. Not much work happened for a few months, but I did start driving it regularly. I took quite a liking to how it drove and how it looked, even though it still was mangled from a front end collision several years back. I started learning as much about these trucks and how to work on them as possible. Christmas: December 24, 2012 The front end of the truck was damaged by a deer hit sometime in the early 2000s. It looked pretty bad, so new front clip parts were in order. The old front clip. We hammered out the front bumper to flatten it some. It was much worse. The bare header panel. I will eventually need to replace this. It's pretty banged up. Everything unscrews nicely. You remove the grille first, then the side markers, then the headlight buckets. Old and new grilles. You can tell how much color the plastic lost over the years. The new front clip with the old bumper. The new front clip, as it sits today. The shallow wheel caps don't fit over the 2WD wheel bearings. These caps fit perfectly. The valve cover gasket was leaking and the VC itself was losing most of its paint. I copied an idea I'd seen on Jeepforum. I like the look of the stripes a lot better. The old fan shroud had broken in several places and was held together with duct tape. After nearly getting sucked into the fan, I decided it needed to be replaced. There's a big time skip between the first part of this post and the next. At this point I'm 17 years old, and still pretty inexperienced. De-Rustification: May-June 2013 This is where the build thread originally started. The previous chapter was added on later. This chapter will be left unchanged so you can laugh at how naive I was a year and a half ago. Since getting it out from under a tree a year ago, my MJ has been faithfully serving me with very few issues. Even though it's "old", it's kept up with the best in terms of reliability and functionality. Now that school is out now and it's summer, it's time to fix stuff. I figure I have about 11 weeks to get it up and running, better than before. This isn't going to be a complete tear-down and rebuild, but I do certainly plan on going through it meticulously. I'm also trying to keep cost down as money is very tight right now. Here's how it looks today, the second day of teardown. Total cost of restoration: $140 (headliner + sunvisors) The seat before I took it out. It has been covered since the truck was brand new. With some care, it'll be pristine. The one thing all MJ owners dread but will have to eventually come to bear with: the floors. Not bad! From what I can tell, the metal is still sound with no holes. I'm going to get the grinder after this and paint it once I'm done getting the interior apart. As you can see from the first picture, the cowl is covered up with plastic currently because it's leaking water, which is for sure the source of the passenger side rust. The driver's side floorboard is dry, however. I'd say the jute padding is probably ruined. This will probably be a fast-paced build so check back frequently! This truck honestly does not need much to be considered 'restored' so as far as restorations go this is fairly minor. I am a 17 year old unemployed car guy, so that will probably be its own problem. I'm definitely not interested in half-@$$ing this. I'm going to do justice to this truck and fix everything correctly. It may cost more or take more work, but I can deal. Tentative plans for the next month or so: - Renew interior, including new headliner, refreshed seat and interior panels - Repair floorboard rust and plug any water leaks - Replace muffler (it's rattling quite badly) - Repair minor exterior damage (scratches, small dents) - Fix air conditioning (obviously a job for a shop)